, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 156-160

Do statins prevent heart failure in patients after myocardial infarction?

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3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Because CAD is the major cause of heart failure (HF) in developed countries, prevention of CAD may result in reduced HF. Evidence from randomized trials on lipid reduction (Cholesterol and Recurrent Events and the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study) has shown statins to decrease progression to HF. Recently, many beneficial effects of statins have been demonstrated beyond cholesterol lowering. These agents improve endothelial function, exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, and prevent cardiac hypertrophy. Experimental studies have shown attenuation of left ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction, possibly through reduced oxidative stress. However, no clinical evidence exists to support an effect on ventricular remodeling. Small, short-lasting clinical studies have also suggested that statin therapy might be associated with improved survival in ischemic and nonischemic HF.